As you might have guessed, I'm not the most careful of cooks--eggs forgotten, 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice added instead of 1/2. Baking, a science which requires accuracy to ensure success, is not exactly my forte. So browsing my virtual library of recipes, I decided to try something that wasn't too easy to fuck up.
Meringues. The most challenging part of this recipe, to me, anyway, would be getting the egg whites to foam. I've tried twice before without success, and was beginning to think the ability to whisk egg whites into a perfect fluff was just something you were either born with or without. This time, I Googled "how to whisk egg whites into peaks" and came up with the following list of handy tips:
-make sure your bowl and beaters are completely clean, because oil will keep air bubbles from forming.
-make sure there is absolutely no egg yolk in your whites. Now we know where I went wrong last time.
-use a copper bowl, which will help air bubbles form. I have none, and am unwilling to go out and buy one, so a plain metal mixing bowl will have to do.
-use an electric mixer. Duly noted.
-use older eggs, which, due to chemical changes that take place in an egg overtime, will be more easily whipped into foam.
-add a pinch of salt to the whites at the beginning of beating to stiffen the proteins.
So...how did they turn out?
3 egg whites
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
~Heat oven to 225 degrees F.
~Beat egg whites and vanilla until the mixture begins to stiffen and form small peaks
~Slowly add sugar while continuing to beat until the sugar is more or less dissolved and the mixture is not grainy
~Place spoonfuls of batter on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 4-5 hours until they are hard, crunchy, and the centers are not chewy.
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